This vegan-friendly pumpkin spice chai latte is a healthier alternative to the coffee-shop version. Do yourself (and your wallet) a favor, and make this tea latte at home!
Originally published November 7, 2016. Photos updated June 12, 2018.
How many cups of coffee do you drink a day?
As a former coffee-addicted, jittery madwoman, I now limit myself to one cup of the dark, caffeinated, liquid gold per day.
What do I drink the rest of the day?
Tea, of course!
Sometimes, I even skip the coffee altogether, and swap it out for tea – because I'm a little wild like that.
When Starbucks starts flaunting their notorious Pumpkin Spice Latte in the middle of summer (it's early, right?!), I immediately start craving pumpkin EVERYTHING.
Of course, I made my own pumpkin spice latte, but what about when I wanted a refill?
How can I get my fill of pumpkiny deliciousness without drinking coffee all day long?
Well, my friends – meet the Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte.
I'd love to pat myself on the back, and congratulate myself for brilliantly inventing this lovely tea latte, but actually, Starbucks did it first.
After inventing this little beauty, they packaged up their (quite sugary) version, put it in a box, and somehow it ended up in the food section at my local Marshall's.
When I saw it, I gasped.
Did I buy it?
No, of course not.
Instead, I marched home (actually I drove, but that's not the point), pulled out some pumpkin purée, and started experimenting.
What's In a Chai Latte?
For the tea latte, you'll need chai (spiced black tea).
For this latte, you can use whatever brand of chai you prefer. If you're looking for a tasty chai to try, I like this STASH chai.
If you want to try a dirty chai, use both espresso and chai.
Pumpkin Spice Purée vs Syrup
This recipe uses a pumpkin spice purée to flavor the tea.
If you prefer a syrup (for a drink closer to what you'd buy in a coffee shop), swap the purée for pumpkin spice simple syrup.
How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte
To make your Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte, start by making a pumpkin spice purée.
If you've been obsessively making my regular pumpkin spice latte or pumpkin spice hot chocolate, this is the same purée used in those recipes.
Yes, that DOES mean that you can make the coffee-licious version first, and then finish your morning off with some tea. You're welcome.
While your pumpkin is heating up, brew the tea.
Next, scoop in some of your pumpkin mixture into teacups, add a little freshly brewed chai tea, and stir it up!
Make sure the pumpkin is dissolved, and then top your lattes off with some hot, steamed milk. (Or skip the steaming, and just add warm milk.)
Drink up, and enjoy fall!
Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte
Pumpkin Spice Purée:
- ¼ cup pumpkin purée (either canned or freshly roasted)
- ½ cup milk OR coconut milk
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons sugar, to taste
Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte:
- 1-½ cups hot water
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin purée
- 2 teaspoons chai or 2 teabags
- ½ cup milk
- To Serve (Optional): extra cinnamon or nutmeg
Pumpkin Spice Purée:
- In a small saucepan, mix all ingredients for pumpkin spice purée, stir, and heat on medium until hot. If you aren't sure how sweet you want the purée, add the sugar last and sweeten to taste. Set purée aside.Tip: Make sure to sweeten to taste.
- Next, steep tea in hot water for 5-7 minutes.
- Steam milk. If you don't have a milk steamer, heat milk on stovetop and use a hand-held frother or immersion blender to create some froth (froth optional).
- Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin spice purée into a large mug, or use 2 teaspoons of purée for a small teacup. Top with brewed tea, leaving room for milk. Stir pumpkin mixture and tea.
- Pour milk into each cup, holding back the froth with a spoon. Top with foam.
- Optional: Dust with more cinnamon or nutmeg. Serve immediately.Note: If lattes are left to set, some pumpkin may settle to the bottom. If not serving immediately, stir again before serving.
- Leftover pumpkin purée can be refrigerated and saved for 2-3 more lattes.